Wednesday, February 8, 2012

You Know You're in the Wrong Church When. . .

By Lauren Yarger
Being a part of a church family where you feel welcome and where you have the opportunity to serve the Lord and worship Him on Sunday mornings is a blessing. Finding the right place, however, sometimes can be a difficult, if not amusing, process.My friend Ron and I have attended a lot of church services over the years. We have different preferences – I like a contemporary style with larger numbers and an environment that is welcoming to those who don’t know Christ because I’ve never forgotten feeling like an outsider as a non-believer. Ron usually likes really good music, but prefers an intimate setting and a more liturgical service.
Once, after a geographical move that had him in search of a new home church, Ron asked me to come along while he checked out some prospects to give him some feedback. Over time, we developed, by trial and error, a checklist that made it easy for us to tell rather quickly whether we were in the wrong place, which unfortunately, happened quite a lot. We weren’t looking for perfection and we weren’t trying to be judgmental, but we found our list to be an accurate indicator. If we mentally checked off one or more of the items on it, we invariably found it difficult to connect with the folks attending there or with the message being preached. It took some time, but he eventually found just the right place to worship. The checklist for knowing when you’re in the wrong church lives on, however, and I offer it here as a tool if you are looking for a church home (and yes, it’s all true).

You know you’re in the wrong church when . . . (to keep reading, click here.)

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Lauren Yarger, Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

In 2008 she was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater with a Christian perspective for Reflections in the Light ( and is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection. She also is a contributing editor for

She also reviews books for Publisher's Weekly and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She formerly was Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp, a national theater web site bsed in New York and a reviewer for American Theater Web.

She also served as Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. and worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

She is a freelance writer and member of the Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women and The CT Critics Circle.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger lives with her husband in West Granby, CT and has two adult children.

Copyright Notice

All contents copyright © Lauren Yarger 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, contact

Scripture from THE MESSAGE Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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